Delhi's roads have been named after famous personalties ranging from Mughal Emperors, Politicians, Scientists and even Artists. One such road near Delhi's ITO area is the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg.
Delhi’s Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg is named after the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah II. Bahadur Shah’s sons and a grandson were shot on this very road by the British Major Hudson. Today, the road acts as a link between Lutyens Delhi and Old Delhi.
Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg is also known as ‘Akhbaar Road’ (literally newspaper road). Up until the 1950s, this street was deserted and overgrown with keekar and babul trees, when a number of newspaper offices sprang up in the vicinity. The first to set up office was the Indian Express, in 1953, followed by offices of the Patriot, National Herald, Times Of India, Nav Bharat Times, Urdu Milap and several others.
According to historian Gopinath Ravindran, most of the structures and buildings here came up in the first few decades after Independence, and reflected the post-colonial Nehruvian aspirations of building the new Republic and the establishment of free press. In those days the area smelled of newsprint, printers ink and street snacks. One could often spot journalists and reporters sharing unprintable political gossip too!
Other notable institutions, offices, and places to visit on this road are Shankar’s International Dolls Museum, Feroz Shah Kotla, Kotla Stadium, the office of the Communist Party of India, Khooni Darwaza, Maulana Azad Medical College, University Grants Commission, etc.
**Banner Photo by Mark Allen Peterson.